I’ve just finished listening to the solo on “Hey,” from Stadium Arcadium, and it inspired me to write a message letting you know just how happy I was to see John Frusciante on your November cover. John Frusciante is my favorite guitarist, and probably my greatest influence. And while I’ve seen the dude burn it up on the fretboard, I’ve realized it’s his slower, simpler, and more melodic stuff that touches me the most. The loud, fuzzy solo in “Strip My Mind” is simply one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. Like all great guitarists, John delivers his riffs with real emotion, and you can’t ask for more than that.
--Matt Huston, Langhorne, PA
It was great to see John Frusciante on your cover. I recognized him right away, as I saw him with the Red Hot Chili Peppers on their second night in Oakland. I was amazed at what an awesome guitarist he is, and at the super-high level of energy he and Flea were able to create with their playing. So it was really good to see his behind-the-scenes takes on all those songs I loved hearing. The only question that didn’t get answered was this: How does he manage to keep playing perfect guitar while whirling like a dervish onstage? That’s one trick I want to learn.
--Jennifer Carolan, Via Internet
Barry Cleveland, in his brilliant article about John Frusciante, was slightly inaccurate in the first sentence. He said, “those given to cosmic speculation might easily conclude that John Frusciante was born to play guitar in the Red Hot Chili Peppers.” While I completely understand this understatement, I would say that any sentient being—not just those given to cosmic speculation —must conclude that John Frusciante was born to play guitar in the Peppers. When John left the band, it was as if my brother had disowned me. When the Peppers’ concert DVD came out—with John as his old, funky self—I knew that Flea was right in 1990 when he said, “righteous music will prevail.” John Frusciante has always been, and will always be a Chili Pepper.
--Joe Blackett, Via Internet
Lately, I’ve started feeling some disdain for the guitar playing community. As a subscriber to your magazine since July 2002, I’ve noticed that in almost every Feedback column there is some reader downing on a featured artist in the prior month’s issue. In your November issue, Jamey says he is “disgusted” that Henry Garza, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and John Mayer are getting support for their music. Aside from John Mayer, I would say these artist don’t get a fraction of the respect they deserve from the general media. I don’t own a single CD by Garza, Shepherd, or Mayer, but I’ve heard their work, and I think they all are beautiful guitarists. I don’t know why every new and talented guitarist that comes out has to be seen as an SRV, a Hendrix, or a Jimmy Page copy. Shouldn’t we support these talented musicians in the hope that real music will make a comeback?
--Brian Carty, Via Internet
In my review of Brian Setzer’s new album 13 [Nov ‘06], I inexplicably referred to Slim Jim Phantom as the Stray Cats’ bassist. Phantom is, of course, the Cats’ drummer, so apologies for the screw up. —Art Thompson
In October’s Distortion Pedal Roundup, we misprinted the phone number for Fulltone Musical Products. The correct number is (310) 204-0155.
Due to space constraints in the December issue, we weren’t able to include a shot of the Marshall Super 100JH chassis. Here, in all its handwired glory, is the Super’s circuit.